Khloe Khardashian has generated headlines around the world with news that her biological father may not be the late Robert Kardashian, Sr.. Rumors have suggested that she may be the daughter of O.J. Simpson or of her mother Kris Jenner’s hairstylist. We have no idea if they are true.
I think there’s more to the rampant speculation and media buzz than the usual prurient interest in exactly who Kris Jenner was sleeping with when her daughter was conceived.
Human beings know inherently, deep down inside themselves that the God-given connection between father and child is so powerful that it can resonate through decades of denial. It is an immutable, inexplicable and immeasurable fact of human existence that we are bonded—in a way that survives time and space and human foibles and frailties—to our biological parents.
Why? Robert Kardashian, Sr. raised Khloe. He was there for her first day of school and her first date and her proms. For the first 27 years of her life, she was presumably comfortable with her life story. Why not just turn a blind eye and deaf ear to news that a different biological reality exists?
Here’s the answer: Because it isn’t just a biological reality. It is a spiritual reality. It is a reality of soul.
For anyone who thinks that Khloe Khardashian’s revelation is merely fueled by tabloids, that person misses the greater fuel: The certain knowledge that we are connected not just by DNA, but by a Greater plan, and that those who were inscribed in our life stories by a hand unfathomable to us, yet forever palpable to us, will always be important elements of knowing ourselves and grasping our possibilities on this planet.
We are fixated on Khloe Khardashian’s story because we can all resonate with the questions that would arise in a child’s mind—even at 27—upon learning that the man who she believed was her father might not really be her biological father.
She might wonder whether she shares intellectual or creative interests with the father she has never known.
She might wonder whether she can still kindle and enjoy a father-daughter connection by tapping into the energy that may well still exist between them.
She might wonder whether this man loved her mother Kris or just wanted to have sex with her mother.
Love? How would questions of love leap nearly three decades and survive the fact that this man was not present in Khloe Khardashian’s life at all?
Answer: Because he was present in her life, without even being there.
Have you been looking for the existence of God? Have you been looking for something immeasurable yet immutable that testifies to our being more than flesh and blood? Look no further than this seeming fodder for tabloids. It is so much more than that.
The Khloe Khardashian story raises a very serious question about whether, for instance, artificial insemination by donors who will remain forever anonymous is morally defensible. Because it deprives the children born in this way not only of access to their medical histories, but of access to their spiritual realities.
What advice would I have for Ms. Khardashian? I would advise her to remain open to the new truths visiting her, however painful. I would suggest, if the news turns out to be true that she meet the man who fathered her, if that is possible.
I would suggest she seriously question the wisdom and the commitment to her wellbeing of anyone who knowingly hid her true life story from her. I would suggest, however, that she remember that Robert Kardashian, Sr. if he showed her love, was no imposter, but a real gift to her. A real parent.
I would also suggest that Ms. Kardashian find a partner/guide through this process—a talented therapist she can trust.
Many adopted children, or children of artificial insemination, will never meet their biological parents. It isn’t possible. For them, this is a loss not to be denied. But neither should we ever diminish, not even for a moment, the great gains of having been joined with people in life who become their authentic, devoted new family. The fact that pages of a person’s life story are missing doesn’t need to define that story—especially when heroes (like adoptive parents) step in to help the save the day.
Khloe Khardashian may never have known her biological father, nor may she ever have anticipated that her fame would lead to this very examination of why we would care at all about her parentage—or why she would. Yet here we are, writer and readers, bound together and learning from her exquisitely human story. Sometimes, God works in mysterious ways.
Keith Ablow, MD is a psychiatrist, and was host of the nationally-syndicated "Dr. Keith Ablow Show." He is a former member of the Fox News Medical A Team.